Following is a post I wrote 6 years ago for an older version of this blog. A lot has happened on the education front in the past 6 years. It’s a good time to rechristen the ship/blog post.
“The other day I ran across this quotation:
I’ve read a lot of books on creativity and creative thinking. I’ve a library’s worth of tomes about how teaching in more creative ways helps learners develop flexible, adaptable habits of mind–key components for success in an ever-changing world. Quotations by Antoine de Saint-Exupery fill those books.
One might argue that such throughts ought to fill the minds of all the adults who work in our schools as well, for we are, in a sense, engaged in building a ship–the ship that will bear us into the future. If we wish to be successful in that endeavor, we ought to heed Saint-Exupery’s words.
I am not saying that students don’t need work and assigned tasks. We all need those things, but they must be meaningful. They must be things that, by knowing, will create in the child the confidence and freedom to explore the immensity of whatever seas she wishes to navigate.
Of course, many of our students don’t know what seas they wish to explore. For too long they’ve been told what seas to explore, how to explore them, and how to report out on the results of their explorations, which, by and large, are the exact same reports that generations of children before them have churned out.
Let us strive to listen to our children’s passions and inspire them towards the immensity of their future…even if, in such striving, we must, as learners all, fight against currents that seek to bear us ceaselessly into the past.